Welcome to Eco Thursday ~ 28th February 2013

Thousands rally for climate action and a carbon priceIn this week’s intersectional round-up we’re looking at the environment and feminism. There is a lot of evidence that care for the environment and care for humans through feminism has a lot in common and personally, as a bit of a greeny, green thumb and human powered vehicle supporter, I think there’s a lot to be said for combining your activism across these two distinct causes. That said, I’ve also heard arguments to say that environmentalism is dangerous to feminists, mostly based on the lived reality that in households, it’s often the person who takes on the bulk of the domestic labour (mostly women and a long fought cause of feminists) is the person left holding the compost bin. The contention being that environmentalism in the home = more domestic work for women.  A legitimate argument if one that misses a key point, if we’re going to break out of the domestic drudgery in general, we can always take the recycling bin with us!

My fabulously useless catnip

My fabulously useless catnip

Before I start the round-up I want to tell you my own personal enviro challenge. I LOVE gardening, I love cooking and I love food. And in my world, growing my own heirloom and organic vegies and herbs is about the best thing I can think of to do to help reduce my impact on the environment. I used to have a HUGE backyard in the burbs that I filled with fruit trees and garden beds as big as my bedroom and bigger. I grew SO much food. All the onions I could ever need, lettuces and capsicums and carrots and broccoli by the bucket load. But then my relationship broke down and I moved, to a teeny tiny unit in Brunswick that I love dearly but which has a tiny courtyard that gets minimal sun. With a little trial and a lot of error I’ve managed to grow some pretty spectacular

My crazy over flowing water poppies

My crazy over flowing water poppies

catnip and a very green and luscious fish pond (and by that I mean the water poppies are taking over the world). But I wasn’t having much luck in the way of anything useful or edible much. The problem was that the large part of the courtyard is significantly covered by overhanging roof so prevents plants from getting good water although does allow them to get sunlight and the narrow part, which is less than a metre and a half wide gets great sunlight and rain but not near the ground and can’t fit anything much wider than about 50cms or I don’t fit to tend to my little babies. Solution?! Build narrow and tall garden beds. A vertical garden would make use of the stored heat in the brick wall that gets full sun for a lot of the year, use minimal water due to a natural trickle down system of watering and allow for significant plant growth by creating what will essentially be a 1.5m square garden bed in a space only 1.3m wide. Plus, when the winter sun gets lower and the ground gets even less light, the planting can primarily be at the top where the sun is its strongest. SO, how did I make a vertical garden? Well with every Melbournians favourite building material of course, milk crates! (Which of course I purchased legally from an online supply company feminaust does not support the theft of milk crates)

photo-3While this little garden idea is still a work in progress (and would have been very welcome this summer when it got SO hot my room was barely liveable). I’m hoping to include some dwarf apple trees either side of the vegie wall which will provide me with a small amount of fruit and help create a microclimate for the growing of tropical fruits such as passionfruit which will also climb and cover the less attractive milk crates. So this is how this little feminaust is doing her bit for the environment, no chemicals, low water and all the organic matter from my pony’s bum and my soon to be established milk crate worm farm!

If you have any examples of how you’re being an eco-feminaust warrior, let me know, and send photos!!

Right. On to the link love. xxx

I loves nothing more than another round-up in a round-up so here’s a list of great books on eco-feminism.

A bit of info on what eco-feminism is and some links to great eco-feminists and articles.

Eco-feminist dance theatre on kickstarter!

Crazy feminists are doing the world a favour by reducing fertility and saving the planet from extinction!!!!! (warning, this is from an anti-feminist site that thinks all modern women are using men as appliances for their own greed…)

The rise of ecofeminism

Feminist Farming!!! Well I think that’s what I do! In my own small way!!

Intentional Environmentalist – Accidental Feminist

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About MsElouise

MsElouise is a community programs worker and feminist from Melbourne Australia. She likes to travel, write, rant and make people feel uncomfortable about their assumptions. She hopes to one day be remembered for changing the world just a little bit. Right now she does this by proving that teenage girls are a higher order of beings.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to Eco Thursday ~ 28th February 2013

  1. I’ve never really thought about environmentalism being yet another example of “women’s work”, but when I look at my own domestic life, there is evidence of this, unfortunately.
    I live with a male housemate who is more concerned with cost over quality or environmental impact and who is also very forgetful, so we usually end up eating cheap supermarket meat when it’s his turn to cook and our small house churns out a lot of waste due to him not remembering which items can be recycled and to put opened jars and containers in the fridge where they’ll last longer, which instead end up in the bin because they’ve gone mouldy.
    I already do most of the housework because I have a pet that lives in the house and sheds fur and because I enjoy living in a regularly cleaned home, and I’d like to do more to further my ecotarian plight, but you’re right: sometimes it’s just more effort than it’s worth when other members of the household aren’t pitching in.

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